The Customer Journey to the Known

If you haven't started to establish a customer-centric infrastructure by now, you might be left in the dust by your competition.
Customer Experience

The concept of being customer centric is fast becoming a reality for marketers as more organizations leverage data to enable personalized customer engagement strategies. Adopting a customer-centric approach is about delivering ideal interactions with your brand independent of how the customer engages with you across their digital, and even digitally enabled, experience.

Marketers need to begin to think about their customer's digital experience in a more unified way to lay the foundation for an omnichannel, personalized customer experience. While there are certainly near- and long-term implications of keeping the status quo, if you haven't started to establish a customer-centric infrastructure by now, you might be left in the dust by your competition.

Today's unified digital experience encompasses both how a customer engages digitally from their desktops and mobile, and how a consumer can experience better engagements through a "digitally enabled" offline experience, for example in a store. But what's next? Recent announcements signal a wave towards digitalization for television, creating new opportunities for brands to engage in a very personal way.

When initially targeting and identifying customers, marketers typically have used a four-step approach: reach, identify, target, and convert. Once a customer is identified, whether through form submission, opt-in, or login requirements, a marketer could successfully unveil or "de-anonymize" the customer, bringing them into the known.

The rise of digital engagement, specifically supported by desktop and mobile cookie data, has allowed marketers to identify a larger group of customers, leading to more efficient and targeted use of customer acquisition resources, and higher performance across advertising and social channels at scale. As data becomes available through other mediums it will open up new and innovative ways for brands to engage with their audiences. Once such media is television, which has the potential, in the not so distant future, to become a programmatic advertising medium. As a result marketers and advertisers will begin to see television advertising become "de-anonymized."

A number of television networks (such as HBO and CBS) have recently adopted subscription-based models, and as others follow suit, traditional cable will eventually evolve into a digital stream, based on a viewers' preferences real time. An added effect will be the cable providers' ability to "de-anonymize" their viewing audiences quickly and effectively, thus providing marketers and advertisers with a more targeted medium to reach their audience. For brands, this will also mean that they will need to think about the content they deliver through this medium, because knowing your audience means you can deliver a more personalized experience, and that starts with content.

As for the television viewer, their experience will change. When they sit down, turn on the TV, and log in to their viewing experience, the ads and even the recommended programming will be customized to them, based on the behaviors they've exhibited across digital platforms. In this way, addressability creates a reciprocal benefit for both customer and brands. Brands and advertisers get to be more personalized in how they present messages to the viewers. They receive a more customized experience, one they are more likely to enjoy.

The impact of digitizing channels and "de-anonymization" will be to create substantial savings as well as an increase in the overall effectiveness of marketing and advertising. If these standards are adopted and television delivers on the promise of addressability, brands will be able to significantly close the gap between the unknown and the known. It will allow both marketers and advertisers to better target customers and deliver more relevant messages. In addition, it will provide marketers and advertisers even more data to know their ideal customer. Television will be just one of the next frontiers for creating effective, personalized customer-centric experiences across digital channels. Brands need to build their omnichannel digital platforms to accommodate opportunities today and for the future.